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Scots Catholic

Calling Scotland's 841,000 Catholics to unite as one voice

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Scottish Government recognises value of the unborn child

Posted on June 2, 2016 at 11:07 AM Comments comments ()
Nicola Sturgeon appreciating the beauty of new life


It is wonderful to hear Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announce that, from Spring 2017, all pregnant women will receive free vitamins in order to help give their children the best possible start in life.


In addition to making vitamins freely available the Scottish Government will also be introducing the following initiatives:

  • Every newborn baby to receive a ‘baby box’ of essential items

  • 500 more health visitors will be recruited to improve child health and wellbeing

  • The Family Nurse Partnership to be extended to support teenage mothers

  • Childcare will be doubled to 30 hours per week for all three and four year olds and vulnerable two year olds


Ms Sturgeon said that “every child deserves a fair and equal chance and offering all pregnant women vitamins sends a strong signal that, right from the very start of life, we are doing all we can to help.  There is strong evidence that taking vitamins in pregnancy improves both the mother and baby’s health and providing free vitamins, to all pregnant women, has the widespread support of healthcare professionals.”


Any government policy which seeks to assist women in pregnancy to look after both themselves and their baby must be welcomed.  It is a positive step by the Scottish government and it is hoped that many people will benefit from the new initiatives.


The introduction of free vitamins for all pregnant women is real and positive recognition by the Scottish Government of the importance of the unborn child.  The unborn child should be entitled to the same rights as any born child and this must include the right to the best possible health care and treatment.  While the rights of the unborn child are not yet fully protected in our country, primarily because of the availability of abortion, this type of initiative is a step in the right direction; a small but important step towards equality of rights for all children, irrespective of whether they happen to be inside or outside of the womb.

 

Click this link to read more about the new initiative: ttp://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/All-pregnant-women-to-receive-vitamins-251d.aspx

UK midwives revolt following abortion announcement

Posted on May 16, 2016 at 9:01 AM Comments comments ()
Children should be safe in the hands of midwives

The Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is facing calls to resign after announcing that the organisation supported the removal of the 24 week time limit for abortions in the UK.  Cathy Marwick has caused consternation among RCM members, many of whom have signed an online petition seeking to distance themselves from the RCM’s stance.  They have also accused her of failing to consult on the issue. 


Marwick, who is the chair of the UK’s biggest abortion provider BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service), has not surprisingly been accused of a conflict of interest given her two roles.  One midwife from Northern Ireland said: ‘Anyone advocating allowing abortion up to birth, I think is so sad and tragic, but to have my own representative body coming out in support of this extreme view is very disappointing. I know she’s our chief, but there is clearly a conflict of interest. On something as big as this, she should have consulted us.’


Dr Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: ‘It is bitterly ironic that the RCM, the supposed champion of safe childbirth and antenatal care, should be backing a campaign seeking to legalise the killing of unborn children up until birth. It is even more extraordinary that their chief executive, who also chairs BPAS, should be spearheading this initiative without apparently even consulting her membership. It is an extraordinary abuse of power.’

Cathy Marwick

Democratic Unionist MP, Jim Shannon, has vowed to raise the matter in Parliament this week.  He said: ‘I will ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had, or will have, with the RCM and BPAS. My concern is that scrapping the 24-week cut-off would be absolutely disgraceful. I would have thought the RCM should be protecting unborn life. Its chief executive has this dual position and many people would say you can’t have that.’


It is deeply disturbing that the very people who have for hundreds of years facilitated the safe passage of new life into our world are now being encouraged to compromise that ethos and be prepared to kill off that life.  Indeed, medical advances are strongly indicating that the abortion time limit should be reduced as a result of the increased survival rate of babies before the 24 week mark.  There is absolutely no indication that the abortion time limit should be increased, never mind scrapped altogether.  Any attempt to increase or abolish the 24 week limit flies in the face of scientific and medical fact, and it once again raises the question as to whether the wilful destruction of innocent human life by abortion should be allowed at all.


Our smallest, youngest, most vulnerable children should be safe in the hands of our midwives.


Catholic Bishops’ abortion plea should not be confused with religious fantacism or being anti-woman

Posted on April 7, 2016 at 7:21 AM Comments comments ()
The Catholic Bishops of Scotland

The Catholic Bishops of both Scotland and Poland have been busy making a case for the protection of the unborn this week.  The Polish Bishops have been pushing for legislative change to bring about a total ban on abortions and they, along with the Polish government, appear to have mustered more than enough support to ensure the law is passed.


Meanwhile, in Scotland, the Catholic Bishops have released their traditional statement ahead of the May election for the Scottish Parliament.  In the letter, the Bishops encourage Catholics to vote with Christian values at the forefront of their minds, including the right to life from conception until natural death.  This encouragement is timely given that abortion is soon to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament from its current home in Westminster. 


Yet the motives of these holy men has been called into question by sceptics and much of the media, as they try to suggest something other than love of life and a desire to protect the most vulnerable is at play.  But let’s be frank, while these men are devoutly Catholic and follow the teaching of the Church to the letter, they do not need to reference Church teaching in order to call for the protection of unborn babies.  It is something that is imprinted in each and every one of our DNA.  No decent, law-abiding citizen of planet earth wants or wills the destruction of other human beings.  It’s a basic human quality and one we should be immensely proud of.


The Catholic Bishops of Scotland and Poland are speaking from the heart when they call for all unborn children to have the chance to live.  Yes their Church expects, and even demands, them to take this stance, but they do not need the Church to tell them that all human life is intrinsically valuable and worthy of protection.  They are not anti-woman and they are not anti-choice.  Neither are they religious fanatics.  They are simply human beings seeking the protection of the law for other, more vulnerable, human beings.

Petitioner seeks to legalise incest between consenting adults in Scotland

Posted on January 26, 2016 at 4:10 AM Comments comments ()
The petition will be debated in Holyrood


Scottish MSPs will today discuss a petition calling on the government to make incest legal between consenting adults over the age of 21. 


The petition, by Richard Morris, claims that the existing law is “inappropriate, unfair, ineffective and discriminatory” and suggests that public “prejudice and bigotry” about incest was caused by ignorance.  He has also apparently likened the issue to historical treatment of homosexuals.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear on the matter of incest and states the following:

‘2388Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living with his father's wife. . . . In the name of the Lord Jesus . . . you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. . . . " Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.’


We are left in no doubt by St Paul’s words.  Incest is destruction of the flesh and is mortal sin.  Indeed all instances of sexual relations outside of marriage are sinful and must be avoided.  And look how St Paul uses the name of Jesus to hit home the severity of incest.  It is not in St Paul’s name that an individual guilty of incest is to be delivered to the devil, but in the name of Jesus. 


It’s interesting that the petitioner Mr Morris cites the treatment of homosexuals to support his case.  The Catholic Church’s stance on homosexual acts is clear, and many people in the Church and indeed others who believe such acts to be wrong, have stated their concern that increased liberalism with respect to homosexuality will open wider the floodgates of a deeply disturbing and increasingly sickening new sexual revolution in our society.  I believe Mr Morris’s petition is evidence of this.


Our Blessed Mother Mary, when she appeared to the children in Fatima in the early twentieth century, stated that more people go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other sin.  That’s the Mother of God speaking.  It’s not the view of some radical religious nut, or priest, or bishop.  It’s not even a pope speaking.  It’s Mary, the Mother of our God and Queen of Heaven.


So let us pray that Mary’s voice will be heard and that our MSPs decide to reject this petition and retain existing laws on incest in our country.

Pro-life alliance launches ‘Don’t Stop a Beating Heart’ campaign in Scotland

Posted on January 4, 2016 at 5:54 PM Comments comments ()
The campaign aims to tackle proposals to extend the abortion time limit

A group of organisations has launched a campaign aimed at countering an increasing public call to make abortion more widely available in Scotland.  The campaign, led by SPUC Scotland and supported by other groups including the Catholic Church and the Muslim Council of Scotland, comes just weeks after the decision of the Westminster Government to devolve the law relating to abortion to the Scottish Parliament.


The campaign, titled ‘Don’t Stop a Beating Heart’, argues that abortion should not be made more widely available than the current 24-week time limit, countering the argument that the time limit should be extended.  Indeed, many of those involved in the campaign argue that abortion should not be available at all, a position we at Scots Catholic wholeheartedly agree with.


This is a bold and important move by those involved in the pro-life movement in Scotland.  But in order to really succeed it will need the buy-in of all of us who support the right to life of the unborn.  We can’t just do the easy thing and leave others to ‘get on with it’.  We all have a part to play in defending the rights of the most innocent and vulnerable human beings.  We all have a part to play in this campaign.


Archbishop of Glasgow and President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland Philip Tartaglia confirmed his support for the campaign, saying, “I wholeheartedly support the aims of the Don’t Stop a Beating Heart campaign to defend and protect unborn human life and to call legislators not to further extend abortion time limits.”


SPUC Scotland’s Chief Executive John Deighan is the campaign’s coordinator and he explained why the campaign is needed, saying: “The rights of the unborn child are facing new threats with the impending devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament from Westminster.  Already, well in advance of the transfer of legislative authority, we are hearing a clamour for further extension of the existing excessively liberal law. This could see abortion legalised from the existing 24-week limit, in most cases, up until the point of birth.  In response to these deeply disconcerting demands, pro-life supporters from different backgrounds, people of faith and none, in addition to concerned organisations and individuals have decided that we must stand together in the face of this onslaught.”


It is sad enough that around 8 million little girls and boys have been lost to abortion since it was legalised in the UK in 1967.  And to think that the abortion legislation was introduced with the aim of restricting the availability of abortions and to make the procedure safer.  Sadly this has not been the case, and the abortion procedure is now vigorously abused in the western world, to the point that fetal baby parts are being sold for profit (as has been the case in the United States with the Planned Parenthood scandal) and an astonishing 90% of babies with Down’s Syndrome are aborted in the UK simply because they have the condition. 


While the Planned Parenthood example above is (hopefully) rare, there is no denying a very unfortunate callous and laissez faire attitude has developed in western society when it comes to the subject of abortion.  Those who are in favour of legalising the abortion procedure are increasingly ignoring the scientific evidence that a live human being exists from the point of conception, preferring to wrap everything up as the simple choice of the mother.  There are those who are not in favour of abortion but who think that it is none of their business to interfere with a mother’s choice or are too frightened to raise the issue socially, preferring to keep their opinion to themselves.


All of this has added to an all too relaxed view on abortion in our society and a lack of realisation as to what the abortion procedure really entails.  If little children outside the womb were being killed because they were a financial burden or were a ‘mistake’ their killers would be processed through the criminal justice system.  Why then are those in the womb treated differently?


This campaign is an excellent opportunity for us to rise up in support of the life of the unborn child.  While we don’t want abortion at all, putting a stop to any proposed extension of the time limit would be a victory and a step in the right direction.  It could lead to bigger things.  It could lead to millions of lives being saved. 


If you choose to support one thing in 2016, please choose to support the right to life of these little ones.  We were once like them, all cosy and tucked up inside our mother’s womb.  It should be the safest place in the world for a baby, just like it was for each and every one of us.  The heart of an unborn child is too precious to be stopped. 


Please support this campaign.  Don’t stop the beating of an innocent heart. 

 
For more details and to become involved please contact SPUC Scotland on 0141 221 2094

New Education Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Seeks to Protect Religious Views

Posted on February 19, 2015 at 7:22 AM Comments comments ()
 
New Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance on how same-sex marriage should be taught in schools appears to offer protection to those who believe that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.
 
The guidance makes the following important points:
 
No school, or individual teacher, is under a duty to support, promote or endorse marriage of same sex couples.
 
Teachers and other school staff, parents and pupils are all free to hold personal opinions on the marriage of same sex couples, including a view that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The Scottish Government considers the belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.
 
Individuals are free to express positive or negative views about the marriage of same sex couples.
 
This guidance must be viewed as something positive for those people who believe only in natural marriage; that is marriage between one man and one woman.  We as Catholics are among those people and this document sets a fairly positive tone for our Catholic schools and the freedom of our educators and pupils to express concern about other forms of marriage. 
 
The most important thing for our schools on the subject of marriage is that they promote marriage between one man and one woman and that this is put forward as the only form of marriage revealed by God and instituted by Christ as a Sacrament.  And while schools will still need to refer to the availability of same-sex marriage as provided under the new legislation, the ability of educators to promote the Church's view at the expense of other forms of marriage not accepted by the Church is not hindered.
 
That said, the Church continues to be a welcoming place for all people and accepts that many people have same-sex attraction.  And while detractors may suggest that the Church is not a welcoming place for all because it believes sexual relations between people of the same sex to be sinful, we must remember that sexual relations outside of marriage between heterosexual couples is similarly sinful as are acts of sexual self-gratification.  The Church teaches that there are two essential elements to marriage; the unitive aspect which is the complete giving of one to the other, and the procreative aspect of being open to the possibility of new life.  
 
Remember, the Church is a hospital for sinners not a club for saints.  A fundamental role of the Church is to bring people to Christ through the process of reconciliation, and this is a gift open to all.   
 
To read the full ECHR Guidance document, click this link: http://scotlandformarriage.org/downloads/ehrc_education_guidance_highlighted.pdf
 
 

Doctors Speak Out Against Assisted Suicicde Bill

Posted on February 12, 2015 at 8:59 AM Comments comments ()
 
Doctors in Scotland have made clear their opposition to assisted suicide as the Health and Sport Committee continues to hear evidence on the proposed new legislation at Holyrood.
 
In an open letter to The Herald fifteen senior clinicians expressed their concern that 'legalisation of assisted suicide would expose our patients to internal or external pressures to consider [the option of assisted suicide], creating a dilemma which would compound their distress and prejudice their treatment and its outcome.'
 
In response to the view that the prospects for many patients is 'bleak, agonising and undignified', the doctors said that 'palliative care in our country is world leading....Our patients, and their families, consistently tell us that good care made all the difference and we know that the overwhelming majority will experience a peaceful and comfortable end to life.'
 
The letter then ends with a real concern about how wide the eligibility for assisted suicide could be under the new legislation and suggests that 'it would be far more productive to alleviate suffering by affirming our world-leading quality of palliative care and bringing the wider availability of that care up to the level of excellence already provided for cancer patients.'
 
 

Why the artificial creation of three parent babies is so wrong

Posted on February 3, 2015 at 8:11 AM Comments comments ()
 
Later today, the UK Parliament will vote on whether to introduce laws to allow the creation of 'three parent babies'.  It is a move that must be resisted for a number of reasons and it is sincerely hoped that MP's will vote overwhelmingly against allowing the procedure.
 
While proponents argue that it will help root out certain conditions, including some disabilities, we should not be fooled into thinking this is a simple exercise in making the human race better.
 
Science is going into the unknown and we can in no way be certain of the consequences.  Further, there are weighty ethical arguments against such a procedure which many people have failed to consider.
 
Think about disabled people.  We are going down a road which may mean nobody is born with a disability.  Is this because we think there is something wrong with disabled people and that they have less value than others?  If we are going to eradicate disabled people through this procedure then the only logical explanation for allowing it is because those who are disabled are somehow of inferior value.  That, for me, simply is not right.
 
Our governments in the UK and Scotland are taking us down a dangerous road to what they perceive to be 'human perfection'.  Abortion already allows unwanted babies to be rooted out of society.  Assisted suicide, which is currently under consideration in Scotland, will allow for the rooting out of people with disabilities and serious ill health; people who supposedly have little to offer society.  Three parent babies is just the next step in that rooting out of the seemingly 'imperfect' among us.
 
I don't know about you, but I believe every single human being brought into existence has value.  And that's not necessarily anything to do with being religious.  Basic human perception should lead us to appreciate the value of every single human life.  This, for me, is what equality is all about.  After all, if we don't have equality in terms of the value of life, we simply cannot have equality.
 
Click here to read Tim Stanley's article on 'Three Parent Babies' in the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11380784/Three-parent-babies-unethical-scary-and-wrong.html
 

Scotland's Bill to Legalise Assisted Suicide May be Short Lived

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 10:53 AM Comments comments ()
Healthcare professionals must care, not kill
 
It is being reported that the Scottish Government's Health and Sport Committee, which will meet next week to discuss the proposed Assisted Suicide Bill, is likely to reject the proposals initially put forward by the late Margo MacDonald.
 
Proponents have suggested that most of those invited to consult on the bill are against assisted suicide which will ensure any plans to introduce assisted dying in Scotland are doomed to failure at a very early stage.
 
This may, of course, be down to the fact that most medical professionals are against such a move, and for very good reason.   It is the task of the medical profession to care for people and bring them back to health.  If that is not possible then it is a basic human right for all people that the state ensure they are cared for in the best way possible with the intention of alleviating any pain and suffering as far as possible.  It is not the task of doctors and nurses to simply dispense with this basic tenet of their profession and secure the death of patients.
 
Should the legislation come to pass, people with disabilities and the elderly will suddenly be at risk as the reality of state sanctioned killing comes to Scotland. 
 
And let us not forget sick children.  Even the state is content to allow for their death in western civilisations such as Belgium.  It is inevitable that assisted suicide for children will eventually come to Scotland should this bill be passed.
 
It is no secret that states which have introduced assisted suicide have experienced significant increases in death rates.  Consider the state of Oregon in the United States where a 450% increase in deaths has followed since the introduction of assisted suicide in 1997.  That's a 450% increase in death!  A similar increase has been experienced in the Netherlands in recent years.
 
Care Not Killing, an organisation which is directly opposed to the new bill has outlined the following concerns with assisted suicide:
 
  • Any change in the law to allow assisted suicide would place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others. This would especially affect people who are disabled, elderly, sick or depressed.
  •  
  • The pressure people will feel to end their lives if assisted suicide or euthanasia is legalised will be greatly accentuated at this time of economic recession with families and health budgets under pressure. Elder abuse and neglect by families, carers and institutions is real and dangerous and this is why strong laws are necessary.
  •  
  • If assisted suicide or euthanasia is legalised any 'safeguards' against abuse, such as limiting it to certain categories of people, are unlikely to work. Instead, once any so-called 'right-to-die' is established we will see incremental extension with pressure being applied to expand the categories of people who qualify for it.
  •  
  • The vast majority of UK doctors are opposed to legalising euthanasia along with the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Association for Palliative Medicine and the British Geriatric Society.
  •  
  • Major disability rights groups in Britain (including SCOPE, UKDPC and Not Dead Yet UK) oppose any change in the law believing it will lead to increased prejudice towards them and increased pressure on them to end their lives.
  •  
    Dr Peter Saunders, Campaign Director of Care Not Killing, has said: "The right to die can so easily become the duty to die and vulnerable people who are sick, elderly or disabled will inevitably feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to end their lives so as not to be a burden on others. Ms MacDonald's new proposals are effectively her old ones dished up again. I expect the Scottish Parliament to give them short shrift."
     
    Let's hope Dr Saunders is right and that this bill is short lived.
     
    Remember, it is not too late to sign the Care Not Killing petition and to inform your MSP of your opposition to this bill.  You can do so now by clicking here: http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/scotland/petition/
     
     

    Pope calls on faithful to go out and proclaim the Gospel but warns about closing in on ourselves

    Posted on September 17, 2014 at 7:32 AM Comments comments ()
     
    Pope Francis says, ‘May we always live in solidarity with all of humanity, and never close in on ourselves.’
     
    It's interesting that this comment comes a day before Scotland goes to the polls to vote in independence, a move the pope has already expressed concern about.
     
    Click here to read the pope’s full address:
     

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